Soldered versus Solderless Connections

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There are increasingly more solderless solutions being used in various applications but are they better? We believe there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to each, as well as certain times to use them. So let's get into it!

Solderless Connections

Advantages

Minimal Investment in equipment and parts.
Ease of use, very simple to make the connection.
Convenient to disconnect if you need to change or repair something.

Disadvantages

Purely a mechanical connection that is reliant on tension only.
It is exposed to air and condensation which will cause oxidation over time.
Any movement and vibration will loosen the connection over time. Every time it is moved, unplugged, plugged in, the integrity of the connection will weaken.
Nuts & bolts or set screws can only be tightened so much before compromising the wire.

Soldered Connections

Advantages

When you solder properly, you create a permanent connection that is gas tight. The solder joint becomes encapsulated in solder and the risk of oxidation is reduced dramatically.
You’re creating both an electrical and mechanical connection between the parts! Continuous conductive path.
The connection is highly reliable under most conditions including vibration. So it’s going to last, it’s going to last a long time.

Disadvantages

Greater investment in equipment needed.
Takes time to learn the skill and master it.
Solderless connections are best in instances where you do not need high reliability. Such as components that need to be unplugged or replaced once in a while or that you expect to change in the near future. In case of wires and cables, if they will be under high stress getting plugged and unplugged frequently, soldered is the way to go. 
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